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Every picture tells its story
Conventional camera or smartphone? This is a decision faced by every photographer but sometimes the smartphone is closest at hand. Picture: Gavin Carvalho

Love them or loathe them, the cameras in our mobile phones are responsible for more pictures than standard point-and-shoots or single-lens reflexes.

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Although conventional cameras have bigger image sensors, superior lenses, more manual settings and an assortment of flashes, new technology and better apps mean smartphone cameras are capable of taking reasonably good pictures.

And as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you: since most of us carry our phones throughout the day, it's useful to know how to get the most out of your mobile camera so you don't miss a shot.

The limited shutter and zoom settings in mobile cameras are partly overcome by the wide range of apps that allow users to change the appearance of their photographs.

One of the most popular, Instagram, allows users to capture an image, apply an arty filter and share it.

Another, Hipstamatic, mimics lens, film and flash changes to produce retro-styled photographs. Others include:

• Retouching and editing: Snapseed, Filterstorm
• Panoramas: Photosynth, Autostitch
• Black and white conversions: Simply B&W, Noir Photo
• Simulating oil paintings: PhotoArtista - Oil

Filters can be used to change the look of photographs taken with a smartphone. Picture: Gavin Carvalho

In addition to the apps for smartphone cameras, there are apps and accessories for traditional camera users, such as a light meter app, depth-of-field calculator and a tethered intervalometer (ioShutter).

The ability to edit pictures and videos and then upload them within minutes of capture has encouraged storytelling through pictures and will continue to drive developments in technology.

For example, Nokia recently announced the 808 PureView, a smartphone which has a 41-megapixel, larger-sensor camera.

And as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you . . .